Paul Krugman writes stuff. Sometimes I read it. Mostly not. Why?
First, let's start with this not-so-startling example of why we should never, ever accuse the NY Times of being "liberal"
It’s important to realize that there are some real conflicts of interest here. For Sanders campaign staff, and also for anyone who has been backing his insurgency, it’s been one heck of a ride, and they would understandably like it to go on as long as possible. But we’ve now reached the point where what’s fun for the campaign isn’t at all the same as what’s good for America.
Let's focus on that last sentence, shall we? Sanders has been talking about the outsized influence of money during his campaign. Refreshing, it's been, to hear from someone freed from the gag order on which Big Money insists. Wouldn't it be "good for America" to talk about money?
Ah, but to focus on that last sentence, we would first have to consider the first sentence. Specifically, we would have to consider Krugman's
"real conflicts of interest here."
Let's go back a few years. Krugman and Steve Keen had a nice online fight about money
. Scott Fullwiler points out that, in that nice fight, Krugman makes a bit of a blunder:
...Krugman demonstrates that he has a very good grasp of banking as it is presented in a traditional money and banking textbook. Unfortunately for him, though, there’s virtually nothing in that description of banking that is actually correct. Instead of a persuasive defense of his own views on banking, his post is in essence his own flashing neon sign where he provides undisputable evidence that “I don’t know what I’m talking about.”
Fullwiler goes on to explain Krugman's mistaken conception of how money works, just like Steve Keen tried to do. Ah, but Krugman is a
Fauxbel Prize* winner, dontchaknow. You can't go up against one of those guys and win. It's not allowed.
When Keen refused to back down, Krugman just stopped talking to him.
And nobody did a thing.
Here's the thing, though. Bernard Lietaer has some insight into Krugman's motivations, based on a conversation they had.
Which brings us back to the nearing election. Hillary? Big Money is in the house (well, Senate, State Department, and now Campaign Spendy Chest). Bernie? Not so much.
So out comes Krugman to not mention, but instead just defend the money ... the money system he claims to understand, but cannot clearly and accurately define when anyone is reading. Sure, if the other Bernard is right, and Krugman did say what he said, then yes, Paul would be ostracized and quietly disappear, his NYT
bully pulpit gone, his career in shambles.
But if he did this, if he talked about what money really is and who controls it, he would also be ... honest.
Which would be a nice change.
*Alfred Nobel never, ever endowed a prize for Economics. That was done much later, by the Central Bank of Sweden, in 1968. It is given not by peers, but by bankers. And lo, check it out: It's been re-named recently! It's now The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel
. The word I underlined, "Sciences," is a new addition to the prize, implying economics is anything but political, and is instead, somehow, just as objective and universal as physics, chemistry, and medicine.
"Economics is not a science,
and never will be!"